This week I got to the lake.
This was my first open water swim in almost 2 years.
Open water swimming is totally different than swimming in the pool, for obvious reasons, like there is no pool side to hold onto, and you often cannot see the bottom, let alone touch it.
Also, depending on the weather, it could be "choppy" (waves)
Let's not forget boats, SUPs, kayaks, etc.
Looks peaceful...doesn't it.
It was, and then it wasn't.
When I entered the water, it was cool, but wonderful. I had forgotten the difference a wetsuit makes in not only floatation, but in keeping you warm.
I began to swim away from the boat launch, and realized the wind had kicked up slightly. Not a big deal if you are in a boat, but bobbing in the water was a little eerie.
Then I started to really swim.
It wasn't too bad. I'm glad I had my long sleeve wetsuit on, but I probably would've been fine with my sleeveless one. The water felt good. But the waves started to come in..
As I swam, there were times when the wave hit my arm before I could put it back in the water as I stroked forward.
When I turned my head to breathe, a wave would break over my head, and I'd get a mouthful of water. Fortunately, it is a very clean late...one of only ones to test potable in our state.
When I tried to "sight"--see where I was going--all I saw was water.
But I swam.
I stopped a couple of times to get my bearings, and try to relax. I did not panic, as can happen sometimes. But I definitely had to work much, much harder than I had in the pool.
I swam out about 300 yards, which seem to take forever against the waves. Then turned around and swam in. I had my floatation buoy attached to my waist. I used it once to rest.
As I swam in, the buoy was near my head, instead of following behind me due to the wind. I got back to the boat launch where I started, and saw that I needed to swim some more. My coach wanted me to swim about 40 minutes.
I started back out.
I stopped after 5 minutes, and prepared to turn around. I got light-headed and a little sea sick.
That's something that swimming in a washing machine can do to you.
It was definitely time to not push my luck and head in.
My swim buddy was waiting for me. She had not swam as far, but was there in case I had any problems. (It's always good to swim with a buddy).
Even though I was about 15 minutes short on my planned time, it felt great to be back in the lake. It is a sign for us triathletes that the season is getting close.
I definitely need to get in the lake some more.
Only 3 weeks until Patriot Half.
And it is looking good!